I wish to congratulate and thank the committee of the Old Boys Association Zahira College, Colombo for recognizing and presenting a Legend Award for football to Subhani Hassimdeen at the OBA Reunion dinner held last week. It is indeed an appreciable gestre.
As a football lover I had the opportunity of watching not only Subhani, also his three brothers playing soccer for over five decades. They were actually national treasures who brought fame and honour to their motherland. It is very unfortunate that their services were not appreciated and honoured.
A case in study and only to substantiate my comment, is that of Subhani, the younger brother of that peerless Asia’s best goal keeper the late M.M. Hassimdeen.
Subhani with his playing experience and knowledge has helped clubs such as Pettah United, Ratnam FC, Java Lane SC, Colombo FC, and to name a few to win major soccer championships in the recent past. He also successfully handled the national junior and senior teams. The service rendered by him for football for over 50 years itself is a record. Why then the National Association has shown a Nelson eye on him? Why not make use his services for the development of the sport? No doubt he is still physically and mentally fit to get involved in football.
Training in competitive sports like football today is a vast field of vex ties, complexities and intricacies. Particularities of conditioning training, skills training, techniques training, tactical training runs into numerous branches that taken as a whole the coach’s awareness and competence in these subjects is not only important but imperative. Subhani has all the requisites apart from the undeniable achievements in the filed of coaching and football administration.
Let me appeal to the Football Association, not to fritter away opportunities blessed to you, by selecting mentors to please one or the other or to return the scratch on your back. We have used international aid and assistance to send wrong signals to the detriment of our sport. We direly need coaches of quality, stature and standing if we are to raise the performing, levels of our football and not mere flunkey’s and lackey’s.
To Subhani I say well done and don’t worry. No doubt you are a Football Legend, you are brimming with talent and days roll by amidst the trail and tribulations in life, you will go stronger in character and resolve. Let me quote Goethe ‘talent is nurtured in solitude. Character is formed in the stormy billows of the world’.